Allen: I Never Thought I Could Bribe Stevens

Posted October 6, 2008 at 2:41pm

The government’s lead witness in the corruption case of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said Monday that he never thought he could bribe the Senator and that he never actually knew how much money his company was spending to renovate the Senator’s home in Girdwood, Alaska.

Stevens is charged with seven counts of filing false statements over an eight-year period to conceal the receipt of more than $250,000 in gifts — primarily in the form of renovations to his Girdwood home — from Allen, who was the chief executive officer of the now-defunct oil services firm VECO.

Allen told the court last week that Bob Persons, a close friend of Stevens who kept watch over the renovation project for the lawmaker, informed him not to send a bill.

“He said, ‘Bill, don’t worry about getting a bill. Ted’s just worried about covering his a–,’” Allen testified.

Allen said he did not bill Stevens at that time, and when asked why he did not do so, he responded, after an extended pause: “I don’t know why.”

But under cross-examination on Monday by Stevens’ attorney, Brendan Sullivan, Allen said even he did not know how much was being spent on the renovation project.

Allen said the two employees that he had dispatched to work on Stevens’ house were both alcoholics who “really did screw up” renovations at his own home. “I never really seen how much the time or the money that was spent on Ted’s house,” Allen testified. “I’ve never seen an invoice. And so I had no idea how much. But I thought it was probably going to be too much.”

Sullivan asked Allen whether he had ever tried to bribe Stevens.

“No,” Allen replied.

“You knew you couldn’t bribe Sen. Ted Stevens, could you sir?” Sullivan asked.

“No,” Allen replied.